While symptom themes such as inability to do activities, mobility limitations and weakness were the most common, fatigue was the symptom that had the greatest impact on patients' lives. This research will help focus developing treatment strategies on the most important issues reported by people with DM2.
These findings are similar to those from a previous study from the same authors that examined symptoms in DM1, where fatigue was also ranked as the most burdensome symptom but not the most common.
More on the study:
In this study, researchers interviewed and sent surveys to people across the USA with DM2, asking respondents to report what symptoms they were experiencing, and what impact those symptoms had on their daily living.
Symptoms were grouped into themes, and researchers found that the most commonly reported symptom themes were:
- Inability to do activities (94%)
- Limitations with mobility or walking (89%)
- Hip, thigh, or knee weakness (89%)
- Fatigue (89%)
- Myotonia (83%)
- Pain (80%)
When the themes were broken down into individual symptoms, the most commonly experienced symptoms included difficulties getting up from the floor, squatting, walking hills, rising from a seated position, and other issues stemming from leg weakness. These symptoms were experienced by at least 97% of the respondents.
Aside from assessing symptoms, this study also gathered information on employment, age, duration of symptoms, and gender. This allowed the researchers to break down their DM2 respondents into groups to determine whether there were any subsets of the population that had a different experience with DM2 than others.
They found that the significant differences between subsets of the population came when patients were grouped by employment status. Unemployed respondents more commonly reported mobility or walking issues, problems with shoulders or arms, emotional issues, decreased satisfaction in social situations, and many other symptomatic themes.
The researchers believe that “employment status is highly dependent on a patient’s overall disease burden,” and also found that employed respondents had better satisfaction in social situations. While this study was not designed to determine cause and effect, the authors hypothesize that many symptoms of DM2 may make obtaining employment difficult or impossible. They further hypothesize that unemployment may also potentially lead to increased disease burden in DM2.
To read an abstract of this article, click here.